Katherine Henson, penning as k.e. She self-published her first book, “wildflowers: the first collection” in 2016. Katherine has been writing for as long as she can remember, and it is both her love language and preferred choice of communication. For Katherine, writing has been a way to escape and discover; through body image issues, depression, anxiety, and loss Katherine has used her words as a way to be honest with herself, while also helping others understand that they are not alone.

Anxiety and a church visit.

It started like this.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
— Matthew 11:28-30

I broke down. Completely and literally. Anxiety took over. Stole my breath. Knocked me to my knees. I was crippled by my thoughts and the deep, deep aches. I wish I was exaggerating. But this is the reality. My body just stopped. Do you ever feel as if your entire body is packed to the bones, and you just.can't.go.on? *raises both hands*

I am just so tired friends. I am tired of the hustle. I am tired of the reaching. I am tired of being tired. It's not even the ever-growing to-do list. It's the power I give that list. It's the power I put in my work in hopes that it will give me worth. It's the priority I put on these tasks.

It's this simple fact: I have missed Jesus. I have chosen to seek validation from what I have or can or might accomplish rather than from JESUS WHO VALIDATED MY LIFE ON THE CROSS. I am thirsty. I am longing. For Jesus. For Jesus. For Jesus.

We learn to enjoy Jesus in the day-to-day and find that the life He has called us to, no matter what it brings, will feel easy and light.

No more try hard. No more running myself ragged. A heck of a lot more filling myself with the ONLY One who can fill me, quench me.

Teach me, Jesus. Teach me.

Then this happened.

I was on my way to a church for the first time in months. And God was asking me to meet Him there. He was asking me to finally break down. To finally open my life-long clenched fists, and let Him take hold. 

On the way to the church, I kept holding back tears. Trying to compose myself. After all, who wants to greet a tear-stained mess at the side door? 

For some reason I had started to think about this picture I drew in high school art. It was there in my mind as clear as if I was still drawing it. It was heavens gates. You know, the tall iron gates with puffy, perfect clouds all around. I was drawing it with names scribbled on each cloud of souls lost too soon. It was my hope. Hope that I would see them again. I have no idea what became of that piece, or what the project even was. 

My mind probably glorified the beauty of the picture, but that is what I saw in my mind. And I felt peace. That small reminder of something long forgotten, was what I needed to see. God knew that. He knows better than any the stubbornness I wear as a badge. So He gave me the answer, the peace in my own doing.  

I know what you're thinking... I walked into that church and peace reigned, my life was changed, and all the hallelujahs fell. No ma'am. 

I did leave feeling lighter. I know people say that a lot, but the anxiety that had been crippling me all day felt just a tad lighter. And that was all I needed. I didn't need the extravagant white horses to my rescue. I just needed to walk into a church. God knew that. He knew that and He got me there. 

The tears still fell in the way home. But out of victory and not defeat. I had wanted to stay on the couch. I wanted to give in to the fear, the pain, the anxiety, the shut out. I wanted to say no one more time to walking through those doors. But I didn't. I didn't, and God found me in that. And I trust that He will keep finding me. Through a church door, or falling to my knees, when I give just one step, He'll give ninety-nine.

I still haven't been back to a church since that night. I still forget to talk to God. I still clench my chest with tightness. But my fists are gently, slowly, surely loosening. 

So I opened to Amos.

“Yet you did not return to me...”
— Amos 4

*fails to knees, cries a puddle*

When you ask God to speak to you, boy does He answer.

God, you have given me a million and one blessings, yet I have not returned to You. I hold my greed and my anger and m fear and my pride and my worth in this world. But I have not returned to You. 

Maybe I think I have. Maybe. But really, I have just kept waiting. But waiting for what? What on this side is more a blessing than what waits for me when I return to You?

“Seek The Lord and live...”
— Amos 5:6 (Psalm 68:32)

"...on earth as it is in heaven..."

My God, My God....